Guide:PvP

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The Guide Rewrite ProjectStatus: Revised
This Guide is revised as of 21 April 2019!

Player versus Player is an optional mode in which players can damage and kill each other, either alone or as part of a team. This is done by enabling the PvP option in Multiplayer mode, by clicking on the swords in the upper right corner of the Inventory screen. Players can only damage each other if both have PvP enabled.

There is also the option of joining a team: they are represented by the colored shields in the upper right corner of the inventory screen. After joining a team, your teammates' current health and distance away from you will be represented on-screen.

PvP does not unlock any game content, and you receive no loot from your defeated foes. It is purely optional. Players engage in PvP for fun and to challenge themselves, either individually or working as a team. Below is a general guide as well as some tips to help you on your journey to become a skilled PvP player.

PvP.PNG
PvP icons on Desktop version Desktop and Console version Console.

Differences[edit | edit source]

In PvP, the window of invincibility after taking damage is greatly reduced if it came from another player. If damaged normally, you receive 0.66 seconds of invincibility, but from players you only receive 0.13 seconds, which is still doubled by the Cross Necklace. Additionally:

  • Critical hits will not occur when you damage players.
  • Flasks and other items that apply debuffs will not apply them to other players, even if certain visual bugs may convince you otherwise.
  • Homing weapons, including summoning weapons, will not home in on other players.
  • Only players of your team will be visible on the Minimap, and buffs from Nebula armor and the Paladin's Shield only affect your teammates. Conversely, no one other than your teammates will be able to see you on the minimap.

Types[edit | edit source]

There are various types of gamemodes. The most common types are:

  • Capture the Gem (CTG): Based on capture the flag. Players form two teams, and win by bringing the opposing team's gem (usually a Large Gem) to their own base. For more info see Guide:Capture the Gem.
  • Team Deathmatch: Players form two teams, and the first team to reach a certain number of kills wins.
  • Battle Royale: A free-for-all format in which players are eliminated on death. The last player alive is the victor.
  • Hunger Games: A Battle Royale subformat in which players join with new characters, and are allowed to use whatever can be looted from the host world.

Some modes impose additional restrictions:

  • Class Wars: A subformat in which players choose from among several equipment sets prepared in advance by the server owner(s).
  • Mediumcore: Adds an extra dimension to team-based gameplay. Opponents can loot your equipment when you die, making them even more difficult to defeat.
  • Hardcore: For elimination-based gamemodes, it is sometimes required that your character is in Hardcore mode.
  • Controlled PvP: Standard PvP with certain items restricted from use. The purpose is to prevent PvP from devolving into a stale experience centralized around only three or four weapons.


Equipment[edit | edit source]

Everyone has individual preferences when it comes to equipment, but not everything is equally effective in PvP. If you want to stand a chance against an endgame player who is holding nothing back, you will have to make some compromises to conform to "meta" standards.

As PvP is an optional feature that exists purely for fun, it is important for you and your opponents to come to an agreement on what is acceptable to use. You can certainly try doing PvP with your favorite, nonstandard weapons, but don't expect those weapons to do well unless you can convince your opponents to do the same.

Weapons[edit | edit source]

Because endgame players usually wear high-defense armor like Solar Flare armor or Beetle armor, no weapon with less than 40-50 base damage should be considered for endgame PvP. Additionally, weapons that have very short range are generally useless in PvP. Viable PvP weapons generally have high base damage and deal damage from a distance.

Weapons which would have Godly as their best modifier when used against enemies should be reforged to Ruthless for PvP instead.

Banned weapons[edit | edit source]

When playing on a regulated PvP server, you can expect a number of weapons to be banned. This is because they are overpowered and over-centralizing, easily mowing down opponents even when wielded by an unskilled player. Of course, they can be used on unregulated PvP servers, but if you choose to use them, do not be surprised if other people no longer want to engage in PvP with you. The following weapons will practically always be banned on servers that impose PvP regulations:

  • Last Prism - has near-infinite reach, very high damage, and its hitbox appears almost instantly.
  • Star Wrath - covers the entire screen vertically with extremely high-damage projectiles.
  • Meowmere - covers several screens horizontally with extremely high-damage projectiles.
  • Terrarian - deals extremely high damage with a large hitbox, and is nearly impossible to hide from.
  • Coin Gun with Platinum Coins - extremely high damage and firing speed.

Melee[edit | edit source]

Trying to chase down your opponents with a sword is likely to get you nowhere, as unlike monsters, intelligent players will retreat while attacking with projectiles. However, several melee weapons have projectiles of their own that can get around this weakness.

Ranged[edit | edit source]

Ranged weapons generally have high range and velocity, both of which are exactly what is needed in this mode. Guns and Rocket weapons should use High Velocity Bullets and Rocket III, respectively. Bows have more versatility, and can be used with Holy Arrows, Venom Arrows, Chlorophyte Arrows, or Luminite Arrows depending on the situation.

Magic[edit | edit source]

Homing properties do not work in PvP, leaving magic users with relatively few high-damage options to work with.

Summoning[edit | edit source]

Minions and sentries do not attack normally in PvP, but players will take damage upon touching them, and the summon will disappear. This means that it is possible to summon minions and sentries on top of your opponents to damage them instantly, making summoning a viable if somewhat one-dimensional playstyle.

Armor[edit | edit source]

While some set bonuses can significantly increase your combat effectiveness, hybrid sets are also not only viable, but often recommended in order to maximize damage bonuses while sacrificing useless bonuses to Critical hit rate.

  • Beetle armor (shell) - Reduces damage taken by 45%, 30%, or 15% depending on the number of active beetles. Beetles regenerate periodically and disappear upon taking damage. Greatly enhances survivability in skirmishes.
  • Solar Flare armor - Similar to the Beetle Shell, but always grants 30% damage reduction as long as a shield is active. Charges take longer to regenerate.
  • Vortex armor - Stealth greatly increases damage, while making you nearly invisible if your health bar is full. Should be toggled off when you are trying to escape.
  • Shroomite armor - Makes you nearly invisible and greatly increases damage, but only while standing still. Lesser version of Vortex armor.
  • Valhalla Knight's Breastplate and Squire's Great Helm can be kept in the inventory for quick out-of-battle healing.

Vanity[edit | edit source]

  • If you leave your vanity slots empty, your opponents will be able to identify your armor set simply by looking at you. Whether you choose to conceal yourself with a different armor set or simply a vanity set that you think looks good, it is best to equip something in those slots, if only to deny this advantage to your opponents.

Accessories[edit | edit source]

As players generally focus on dealing rapid burst damage, accessories providing a regeneration bonus over time, such as the Band of Regeneration, will not save you from death. It is viable to specialize in either damage output or percentage-based damage reduction, but some form of mobility is practically a requirement; neither the Shrimpy Truffle nor the Cosmic Car Key is agile enough to evade a competent human player.

As your aim as a PvP player is to win the DPS war against your opponent, all your accessories should be reforged to Menacing. Increasing your damage dealt by 4% will give you a more significant edge than reducing damage taken by 2.

  • Charm of Myths - Allows you to consume a healing potion 15 seconds earlier, which could save your life.
  • Shiny Stone - Regenerates health very quickly when out of combat.
  • Cross Necklace - Increases the duration of invincibility frames, though not to the same extent that it does against monsters.
  • Master Ninja Gear - Has a 10% chance to negate damage and provide a duration of invincibility, up to 2 seconds with the Cross Necklace. Usually banned for this reason.
    • The Tabi however is generally not banned, and provides an invaluable way to move quickly and unpredictably.
  • Ankh Shield - Protects you from being stunlocked by Yoyos and other fast weapons. Debuff protection is not very valuable in PvP, as most weapons fail to inflict debuffs in PvP regardless (with the Bee Keeper as a rare exception).
    • Paladin's Shield - Provides 2 more defense than the Ankh Shield and the same protection against knockback. Reduces damage taken by allies when the wearer is above 25% HP by taking the damage yourself, while also activating effects from accessories such as the Star Veil and Black Belt. An excellent choice in team-based PvP.
  • Worm Scarf - Provides 17% damage reduction.
  • Frozen Turtle Shell - Provides 25% damage reduction when below 50% health.
  • Sniper Scope - Allows you to see enemies from further away, making it easier to conduct a pre-emptive strike.
  • Damage-increasing accessories such as a class-specific Emblem/Celestial Emblem, Avenger Emblem/Mechanical Glove, and/or Celestial Stone/Celestial Shell/Destroyer Emblem/Sniper Scope, listed in decreasing order of raw damage boost.

Potions and Buffs[edit | edit source]

Other considerations[edit | edit source]

  • If you have a Light Pet, it is best to turn it off to avoid premature detection. You want to see your opponents before they see you.
  • The Bat Hook retracts faster than any other hook, and is the best for making rapid maneuvers.
  • The Slimy Saddle allows you to rapidly launch off the ground with no acceleration required, and also allows you to fall quickly out of the air.
  • Neither the Cosmic Car Key nor the Shrimpy Truffle provide you with a lot of agility, but they are at least more agile than a pair of Wings whose flight time has run out.
  • If not banned, the Rod of Discord is an extremely useful movement option that allows you to teleport to any location on your screen.

General Strategies[edit | edit source]

Your strategies will change depending on the type of PvP gameplay (see above). The strategies described below are more applicable to team modes such as Capture the Gem or dedicated all-out PvP servers, rather than for unrestricted PvP with endgame equipment.

Scouting[edit | edit source]

Your enemies may have set up traps and other defenses to counter anyone who gets too close. If the area isn't protected by plugins such as TShock, disabling traps with a Wire Cutter or The Grand Design is very simple. Otherwise, the utility of scouting is very limited, so it is better to attack at once as a group.

By using Wormhole Potions, your teammates can teleport to your position and ambush your opponents. If you are scouting for this purpose, be sure to drink an Invisibility Potion to avoid giving away the surprise. However, even if you are invisible or stealthed, your enemies will still be able to see your health bar if it isn't full.

For more general purposes, a Sniper Rifle, Sniper Scope, or Binoculars can help you spot your opponents before they spot you.

Maneuverability[edit | edit source]

In PvP, it is essential to be able to move quickly and unpredictably to avoid getting hit. Relying on the Cosmic Car Key as your only form of flight may have worked when fighting monsters, but the same approach in PvP will get you picked off very quickly. The Tabi, Wings, and a fast grappling hook such as the Bat Hook should always be considered for high mobility.

  • The Solar Flare armor's dashing ability is not a substitute for the Tabi, as you temporarily lose this ability once you run out of shield charges.
  • The Swiftness Potion boosts your movement speed by 25%.
  • The Slimy Saddle can be used to greatly increase falling speed or to instantly jump high off the ground with no delay; both of these sudden, unpredictable movements are valuable for dodging attacks.
  • As players are taller than they are wide, attacking other players from either side is generally more effective than attacking from above or below. For this reason, vertical movement is typically considered more valuable for dodging, so it is recommended to equip Wings with a high vertical speed boost such as Solar Wings, or a Frog Leg.

Blockades[edit | edit source]

By quickly placing a wall of blocks such as dirt, you can defend yourself from most projectiles, forcing opponents to approach. This can be taken further by placing three platforms on your own side of the blockade and hammering them, creating a one-way blockade behind which you can still fire upon your opponents. This is most effective in formats that involve new characters using earlygame equipment.

Boss Barrage[edit | edit source]

Summoning multiple bosses at an enemy's base is an effective way to cause chaos if they aren't properly geared to take the bosses on.

Base Defense[edit | edit source]

See also: Guide:Base defense.

Dungeon Bricks are the most plentiful explosion-proof blocks that will prevent your base from being destroyed by someone using explosives. If explosives are not banned on the server, consider using those.

Traps[edit | edit source]

If building is allowed on the server, naturally-occurring hazards can be repurposed to damage or distract your PvP opponents. They are unlikely to harm players with access to flight or hooks, but can potentially be effective in modes that require fresh characters. The following information may also be of interest to those who wish to design an arena for other players to fight each other on.

  • Spikes and Wooden Spikes harm players on contact.
  • Meteorite, Hellstone, and Hellstone Bricks rapidly deplete the health of players that are touching them. However, this can be negated with variants of the Obsidian Skull or Obsidian Skin Potions.
  • Lava is one of the most damaging natural hazards, and can be used to line the bottom of deep pits.
  • Sand can be dropped on players, dealing minor damage. If a large amount of Sand is dropped all at once, such as through a wiring mechanism, players will be trapped and rapidly suffocate.
  • Actuators can be used to surprise players by creating a deep pit, killing them with fall damage.
  • Certain Statues such as Chest Statues and Medusa Statues can be wired to a Pressure Plate or Timer, creating a deadly threat to players still using Pre-Hardmode gear.
  • Boulders can be sent rolling towards opponents, whether through wiring or by placing Boulders manually and hitting them with a Pickaxe. They will typically roll to the left, only rolling to the right if there is no space to the left.
  • Cobwebs are easily removed through attacks, but become a significant hazard if placed in an area that is protected by TShock plugins.
  • Traps obtained from the Jungle Temple can be wired to fire automatically or upon activation with a Pressure Plate.
  • Explosives can be wired to a Pressure Plate to create a trap that is destructive both to players and to the surrounding terrain.
    • Land Mines are a more convenient variation that does not cause environmental damage.